2018-19 Off the Glass Breakout Player Series: Derrick Rose
With the 2018-2019 NBA season upon us, Off the Glass is making predictions on who breakout players from each team will be. Today we look at Derrick Rose of the Minnesota Timberwolves.
How can a guy who was MVP of the league be a breakout player? Remember, it was around this time last year Derrick Rose left the Cleveland Cavaliers to re-evaluate his future in the NBA. He came back and was traded to the Utah Jazz and was immediately released. He reportedly wasn’t getting any offers until his former Coach Tom Thibodeau gave him a chance. This article isn’t about Derrick Rose the MVP, it’s about Derrick Rose the guy who was almost out of the league.
The breakout began during the 2018 NBA playoffs, where Derrick Rose averaged 14 PPG while shooting 51 percent from the field in just 24 minutes a night. On the one hand, it was just 5 games, on the other it was 5 games that mattered against the Houston Rockets. Through the first 4 games of this season Rose is averaging 15 PPG, 4 RBS and 5 AST’s. He struggled against the Spurs, was efficient against the Cavs, then he exploded for 28 5 and 5 against the Mavericks. These 3 games are a microcosm of the rest of Derrick Rose’s career in the NBA. He’ll have good games, he’ll have bad games, but he’s still capable of putting up big numbers on a given night. Derrick Rose could average 20 a night starting on a bad team but he’s willing to average 12 coming off the bench for a good team and that alone makes him a valuable asset for any contender in the NBA.
It’s sad thinking about Derrick Rose. In the summer a fan approached him and said “you’re the man!” and he responded “Nah man, I wish. Not anymore, I wish”. Heartbreaking. Just 30 years old. He should be in his prime and still one of the best players in the league if not for a few unfortunate injuries. Health will always be a concern when it comes to Derrick Rose.
Coming off the bench and limiting his minutes will help keep him healthy. And if he does, start getting used to the phrase “Playoff Rose” a la “Playoff Rondo”. Like Rondo, Rose is at his best when the stakes are high.
And he proved that last year when he increased his season average of 8 PPG to 15 in the playoffs. Throughout the regular season expect the occasional big game from Derrick Rose, but come playoff time if the T-Wolves are there, Derrick Rose will be ready.